Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Blog 8

As winter approaches, the sun sometimes shines down Swain Street in the morning in a way that it doesn’t in the summer. The lime render is still its natural colour as I am still waiting for it to dry out sufficiently to lime-wash it. Unfortunately one problem is continual dog urination to the right of the front door which I fear will never dry out!

The trenches for water, gas, electricity and telephone have all been dug, the necessary ducting and pipework installed and then the trenches back-filled. The supplies go to the main building and to the outbuildings at the rear as I hope to develop these next year. We now await the connection in the road which will require the closure of Swain Street for several days. This is scheduled for 9 January 2012. I hope it does not cause too much disruption.

Gas piping (yellow) and telephone manhole

Inside, we have constructed the interior block and stud walls to form the office, wc and multi-purpose room for the gallery.

Interior studwork

Most of the joists in the main (front) room are seventeenth century and of elm. They are badly warped, so in order to achieve a reasonably level ceiling and provide for all the electrical cables and pipework, I have had to batten out below them.

Main room with ceiling battened out

The electricians have completed the first fix. There are festoons of wiring providing for the many electrical items in the building such as emergency lighting, fire alarms, security alarm as well as lighting and power.

Festoons of cabling

The new doors have been delivered. The frames for these are copies of the originals with large sections by today's standards (3”X4”) with pencil-moulded stops:

Pencil moulding on door frame

We have been preparing for the lime-plasterers to return to do the inside which requires getting ceilings up and dubbing out the walls with lime plaster to fill holes and get a reasonably flat wall for them to plaster.

Ben, dubbing out

While doing this Ben noticed "Nick Cotton 1973" scratched into the brickwork above the fireplace in the small gallery room. Nick says that this was when he worked with Alf to reconstruct the fireplace.

I have now purchased a small part of the adjacent garden so that I can more easily work on the end of the two-storey building at the end of the plot. I hope soon to submit a planning application to convert this into a cottage. In the end of this building we found the remains of a very old window. It is of oak and is probably seventeenth century. It has no rebates, so was probably unglazed. As this was probably a building non-domestic use, it may have had shutters so that light and/or ventilation could be provided when required.

Old window in east wall of outbuilding

Pegged joint in old oak window